Thursday, June 20, 2019

Resilience Donation Update

San Diego's 10News published a list in late May of all the San Diego breweries that participated in Sierra Nevada's Resilience IPA charity drive to raise money for the Camp Fire.  Last week, 10News updated the list.  10News counted 43 local breweries that participated, with donations exceeding $200,000.  The big news from the story was not the breweries that participated, but those had not make a donation to Sierra Nevada.  The non-contributors exceeded twenty breweries when the list was first published, but in scrolling through the updated list, I only count ten breweries that did not respond to 10News' request for information on their donation.  In looking at this list I read that Pizza Port did not respond to 10News but it is affiliated with Port Brewing/Lost Abby, which did make a donation, so I am hoping there is some mis-communication.  Most of the other non-responders are small operations.

There were some nice surprises on the list.  Culture Brewing, which is a small brewery, donated a whopping $11,121.25, and OB Brewing donated $7,533.  Societe Brewing also exceeded its size, donating $16,000.  Stone Brewing donated $31,184.26, the largest donation from a San Diego brewery, and more than Constellation-owned Ballast Point's $30,000.  From what I heard and read about this charity drive, it was not easy for the breweries, so it is great that so many breweries were able to donate so much.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

New English Article

Here is a worth-reading article in San Diego City Beat on New English Brewing Company.  The article hits on some important points, including this declaration:  "There’s a need for anyone interested in craft beer to keep paying attention to San Diego’s pioneer companies."  I agree!  New English is not flashy, nor is it ubiquitous, nor does it release a new hazy IPA every week.  It may fail the shiny-new-thing test, but its beers are excellent.  Its Pure & Simple IPA is one of the best IPAs in San Diego. Period.

New English's tasting room is simple to the point of being anachronistic.  It is located in a nothing office/industrial park in a part of Sorrento Valley you don't visit without a reason.  Even New English's Instagram, which mostly focuses on beer*,  appears less traveled than other San Diego breweries, gathering "likes" in the twenties and thirties compared to hundreds and thousands.  New English is San Diego craft beer's best kept secret.  It's time more people drank its beers.

* I am amazed at how many breweries do not post frequent pictures of their beers on Instagram.  Some breweries use the social media site to focus more on things other than just beer, like events at their breweries, employees goofing around, and a surprising number of animal pictures.  This is fine, but breweries need to be careful not to muddle their message with too many non-beer pictures.  (Poor Benchmark Brewing, for some reason it posted a high number of pictures of its empty tasting room that did not include beer.)

Monday, June 17, 2019

Gordon Biersch

The Gordon Biersch restaurant and brewery in San Diego's Mission Valley is closing after twenty years.  Puesto will take over the restaurant space and it will brew beer, too.  Puesto plans to open this fall.  Gordon Biersch won't close until July 16th, so there is still time to get some of head brewer Doug Hasker's beers.  I did not know about Hasker until I started listening to the Indie Beer Podcast, but he is a local legend, renowned for his lager making skills and willingness to share his knowledge with other local brewers. 

I have not been to Gordon Biersch for ten or fifteen years.  Memory is a funny, tricky thing, though.  I remember the last dinner I had at Gordon Biersch was soon after 9/11 and every TV was turned to one of George W. Bush's speeches to the nation.  I can't remember if was the unifying Oval Office speech days after 9/11, or the "Axis of Evil" State of the Union address several months later.  I further can't remember if it was Gordon Biersch's garlic fries at that dinner, or an Outback Steak House Blooming Onion around the same time that gave the Beer Rovette and I such bad stomachaches we were sure our toddler was going to be orphaned. 

I want to get to Mission Valley and try some of Doug Hasker's beers before Gordon Biersch closes next month. I won't be having garlic fries, though.  I have learned some things in eighteen years: wars in the Middle East are not good, and I need to avoid fried foods.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Benchmark Closes

Benchmark Brewing announced that as of 3:00 yesterday afternoon, it had closed for good.  I wish Benchmark's owners the best of luck.  Here is the tweet announcing the closure: